This distinctive collection features writings from Grant Pick’s long, distinguished career in literary journalism. Pick had a uniquely open eye and ear for people who were in difficult situations, doing extraordinary things, or both. Most of his stories focus on interesting but overlooked Chicagoans, like the struggling owner of a laundrymat on the west side or the successful doctor who, as he faced his own death from cancer, strove to enlighten his colleagues in the field of medicine. As only a lifetime Chicagoan could, he described in tender detail the worlds in which people lived or worked, providing a look not just at one city’s citizens but at humanity as a whole.
Pick’s widow and son curate this showcase of some of his most well-remembered work, such as “The Rag Man of Lincoln Park” and “Brother Bill.” In these and all of his other works, Pick wrote from the front lines, speaking to people whom others might encounter everyday but never really see. He faithfully characterized his subjects, never denying them dignity or value and never judging them. In the mirror he held up to his city, Chicago could see the shared humanity of all its citizens.